If we are honest, we will admit that we all have what I call a super-person complex. This super-person complex stems from the belief that we are superheroes and that we can be all things to all people. I subscribed to this myth for years. However, one day I came to a crossroad, and it changed my life forever. My plate was already full with a plethora of assignments and someone was asking me to "help" them with a project. I am advanced enough to know that "help" actually meant "do" the project for them. Usually I would say yes and add to my already hectic workload. On the contrary, I blurted out no, and it shocked me! I think it shocked the other person even more, because they were so accustomed to me saying yes. That was one of the most liberating days of my life. While I will admit that it was hard, I realized that I had been an enabler. As long as I enable the dependence of others I serve as an enemy to their development. The good news is that you can break free from the super-person trap!
1. Get still and drown out the noise. When I realized that I had a super-person complex, I immediately went into a time of prayer and reflective meditation. Immediately as I got still, I was able to see that this complex was unhealthy. I had a hole that I was trying to fill by helping everyone. I am not saying that we should not help others; however, when our desire to help turns into a fascination with fixing others we have crossed the line. We should support others but we can never be their saviors. Why do you have a super person complex? Your liberation will never manifest until you have to courage to ask this question. What you disguise will never be dismissed from your life.
2. Learn the power of saying no. Yes you are reading that correctly. We should be there for friends and family in times of need. On the other hand, many times people depend on us more out of want than need. We never establish clear boundaries in our relationships and people take advantage of the limitless access that we give them in our lives. When I first began saying no it felt wrong. I felt condemned and guilty; however, I learned quickly that you sow seeds of regret when you rescue others prematurely. When we enable others they are never confronted by their choices. You must learn how to say no!
3. Stop neglecting yourself. I believe that we live in a busy but unproductive generation. We equate our busyness with success. We are so consumed with taking care of everyone else that we have totally neglected ourselves. When was the last time you turned off your cellphone and just enjoyed some quiet time? When was the last time you went for a walk? Or read a good book? Or when was the last time you treated yourself to a nice dinner? We have become so codependent that we no longer enjoy our own company. We allow others to drain us and deplete us. These unhealthy relationships become a drug making us more and more dependent. If you want to liberate yourself you must never lose yourself. We should give our lives in service but never lose our lives.
4. Stop negotiating your power. Years ago I decided to take my personal power back. I realized that I was diminishing my value just to keep certain relationships in my life. Any relationship that requires me to reduce my value is a relationship that I don't need in my life. If the people around you don't enhance your life then it may be time to excuse them from your life. We should never sacrifice freedom for the sake of settling for superficial friendships. When you require more from your relationships you will produce different results in your relationships. When we attempt to please everyone it is the proof that we have abandoned our personal power. Stop settling in your relationships and set higher standards for the relationships in your life!